Champions League Match day 1- 10/20/20
Can you hear the theme song? THE CHAMPIONSSSSSS!! Oh man am I ready for some Champions League football!!! Not only does it mean the best in Europe competing for the ultimate trophy, it means games kicking off at the same time!! HALLELUJAH! UEFA went to having 2 early games on these group stages but we still get a tasty 6 game slate featuring a few teams you may have heard of… Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester United being the biggest clash but we also get Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Chelsea and Juventus! WHEW! This slate could easily be a 220 point score kind of take down! As we’ve learned in the past… UCL means GOALS! Let’s start by breaking down the current odds:
Chelsea (+100) vs. Sevilla
Stade Rennais (-275) vs. Krasnador
Lazio vs. Borussia Dortmund (+105)
Barcelona (-1250) vs. Ferencvarosi
Paris Saint-Germain (-167) vs. Manchester United
Red Bull Leipzig (-450) vs. Istanbul Basaksehir
-We get a HUGE home favorite in Barcelona headlining this day while Leipzig are almost a 2 goal home favorite as well. Chelsea are a slight home favorite, Dortmund a slight road favorite, PSG a decent home favorite and Rennes a good sized home favorite. But let’s jump into our Game by Game Breakdown for more info.
Chelsea vs. Sevilla-
This game could be interesting and very under the radar… Chelsea can score in bunches, and they also can’t defend… while Sevilla aren’t really an offensive juggernaut but let their defense do most of the work.
Chelsea is finally getting healthy… but then they lose their top goalie and are forced into the horror show that is Kepa Arrizabalaga ($12/$5200) or even Wily Caballero ($5/$5100). DO NOT PLAY KEPA… I cannot say this enough… Wily is terrible too but if he starts, $5 on FD is worth the punt to get more goals. Chelsea’s offense is starting to click. Timo Werner ($21/$7200) had 2 goals and an assist on the weekend, Kai Havertz ($18/$8200) had a goal and an assist in the draw to Southampton as well. Hakim Ziyech ($15/$9100) made his season debut as a sub and could feature more in this game as his fitness ramps up but he is WAY over priced on DK. Christian Pulisic ($16/$7100) came back this weekend and played 87 minutes so don’t be surprised to see if he either gets the start and plays 60 or comes on later… either way he did not look sharp. For defense Ben Chilwell ($14/$5200) has been ELECTRIC in his few starts so far and if you are looking to stack Chelsea he is a fine place for a secondary piece but his clean sheet equity is nearly nil. Reece James ($10/$5600) is possibly starting on the other wing and on FD that’s a great price for someone who does a little bit of everything. I already said…. Don’t play Kepa… so DON’T, PLEASE.
Luuk De Jong ($18/$5600) leads the line for Sevilla’s attack and is an opportunistic striker whose floor is zero. Luis Ocampos ($16/$6400) has been really good for this team and had 14 goals last season so his ability is not to be overlooked, and last I saw he took PKs. Ivan Rakitic ($11/$4400)… yep he’s on Sevilla now and while his days of lighting up are behind him, he is a capable veteran who will not be as involved in the attack as he will be used to control the midfield so 5+ tackles is a real possibility. For defense, Jesus Navas ($13/$5100) still flies down the wings like a man with no defensive responsibilities… his offensive abilities will put stress on the shaky Chelsea back line. Sounds like Sergio Escudero ($10/$4200) has been deemed healthy and is another good full back for this squad but his upside is more defensively. Who’s in goal is the real question…. Bono ($8/$4300) has been okay in league play but not great… and veteran Tomas Vaclik ($5/$4200) sits in wait, and is no stranger to the UCL after all his seasons with Basel. Vaclik is an excellent punt on FD if he gets the nod.
Prediction: Chelsea 2 – Sevilla 2
Rennes vs. Krasnador-
Rennes was a nice surprise coming out of Ligue 1 and has continued their strong play this season with 4 wins and 3 draws with no losses so far to only trail Lille and PSG in Ligue 1. While Krasnador is sitting middle of the table in the Premier Liga in Russia currently but has been playing better of late and earned their way into the group stage through playoffs.
French squad with a few names we may recognize but a few you would not. Sehrou Guirassy ($17/$9000) is the striking star of the squad while Martin Terrier ($11/$7000) is their best attacking winger. Steven N’Zonzi ($12/$3400) is the defensive stopper in the midfield and in a game where Rennes should dominate; he is a nice salary relief spot that could actually have some offensive output. Defensively Hamari Traore ($10/$5500) is an attacking full back that is in a great matchup. Romain Salin ($10/$5400) is nothing special and has failed to impress a lot domestically in relief of Alfred Gomis ($5/$5300) so be sure to check to see who starts here… Gomis is a cash lock if he’s in for FD.
This squad is going to have its work cut out for it to advance through Rennes, Chelsea and Sevilla, but it loves the underdog role. They are usually led by Marcus Berg ($15/$5700), Remy Cabella ($14/$7400) and Viktor Claesson ($14/$3900) but they have had a lot of rotation of late, so it’s hard to say who is going to start. They do have 21 goals in 11 league games this season while only allowing 10 but sit 5/3/3 with their total being ballooned by a 7-2 romp in September. Defensively I would not play anyone on DK, but on FD Cristian Ramirez ($8) is dangerous and cheap enough for the offensive chances and defensive opportunities. Matvey Safonov ($6/$4100) is a GPP type punt as Rennes aren’t world beaters and Krasnador should sit back and absorb pressure and look to counter as much as possible.
Prediction: Rennes 2 – Krasnador 1
Lazio vs. Borussia Dortmund:
This game could be fun! Dortmund is always entertaining to watch and Lazio has a few stars that could easily put on a show.
The Italian representatives are off to a VERY slow start 1/1/2 for 14th place in Serie A at the moment and this worries me as they go against the German giants Dortmund. Lazio have two real stars in Ciro Immobile ($17/$8800) and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic ($14/$7900) to lead their attack. Luis Alberto ($13/$8600) is no slouch either but I don’t love his style for this matchup. Dortmund need to be exposed with pace after capitalizing on their over-aggression and SMS is the guy to do that. Defensively keep an eye on Luiz Felipe ($5) as he would be a great min-price punt on FD. They aren’t a squad that let their fullbacks push too much, they tend to sit back a bit more and allow the midfield dictate the pace. In goal Thomas Strakosha ($8/$4600) is only in play if you’re looking to fade Dortmund.
Dortmund have started off their Bundesliga campaign well, with 3 wins and 1 loss scoring 8 while allowing in only 2 so far. Erling Haaland ($19/$8100) is their main man, and has been scoring goals like a mad man since his introduction to the world a little over a year ago. (10 goals last year in UCL… wow) Jadon Sancho ($21/$6900) is the next big thing for England and Manchester United continues trying to sign him to no avail but he is really underpriced on DK in my mind. His upside is huge but he never goes the full 90. Marco Reus ($16/$6200) is a great secondary piece for a BVB stack, even Raphael Guerreiro ($15/$4400) seems underpriced. Giovanni Reyna ($12/$5100) has been starting for them in league and is a young American with a ton of potential. Defensively Thomas Meunier ($14/$4200) made the move from PSG and has been a nice presence for them; he is a midfielder on DK though so no CS equity. Roman Burki ($11/$4900) seems underpriced but is the away goalie (no crowds though), I like him for a pivot from the big guns offensively.
Prediction: Lazio 0 – Dortmund 2
Barcelona vs. Ferencvarosi:
I won’t pretend like I’m a Hungarian soccer expert… but this is about as one sided as a Champions League matchup can get.
The news about Barcelona this summer was all about transfers… Messi demanded one…denied. Suarez demanded one… he’s gone. New manager in Ronald Koeman and a few new signings may make Messi a little happier, but we shall see. They’ve started their La Liga campaign 2/1/1 with 8 goals for and 2 against, so nothing spectacular. If you are looking to get multiple pieces from this game, obviously you start with Lionel Messi (THE GOAT $23/$11800), who is the most expensive player on the slate, and deservedly so, but who do you pair him with, if anyone. Philippe Coutinho ($16/$8400) looks to resurrect his career and has been playing well so far, finding the net in his first start. I despise Antoine Griezmann ($19/$5900) but that DK price is WAY too cheap for this matchup. I could easily see Ansu Fati ($17/$7500) being unlocked and thrown into the spotlight as the missing piece. Miralem Pjanic ($12/5300) is more defensive minded but could be a dart throw. Jordi Alba remains out so the young American Sergino Dest ($9/$4600) should remain in the starting lineup and is a nice cheap option for some attacking. Junior Firpo ($8 FD) is fine too if you can’t get the money for Dest. Marc ter Stegen is out so Neto ($14/$5900) will be in net and should be picking dandelions most of the game… his upside is the clean sheet/win almost guaranteed but if he lets one in… you’re dead in the water as he won’t get anywhere near the number of saves to make up for it.
They’re 4/1/0 on their domestic campaign with 12 goals for and only 3 against but this is Barcelona… a top 5 team in the world. They will be under siege all game and there is no letting up just in case goals for matters later on in the group tiebreakers. Tokmac Choi Nguyen ($14/$6000) is their top scorer and playmaker but let’s be honest, you aren’t playing anyone from this squad on DK, and only a cheap CB on FD like Miha Blazic ($9) or Adnan Kovacevic ($7). Denes Dibusz ($6/$3600) should see about 15 shots and even if he lets in 5, he could be a big enough money saver to cancel out pricier goalies with just wins.
Prediction: Barcelona 6 – Ferencvarosi 0
Paris Saint Germain vs. Manchester United-
This should be THE match of the day, and could be really fun to watch. I think PSG are done licking their wounds after their embarrassing exit last year and are ready to wreak havoc on this group.
It all starts with Neymar ($23/$11500) for this team; he should be able to start after resting this last game back from international duty with Brazil. He with Kylian Mbappe ($21/$11000) is as scary a duo as there is in soccer. Now United are no slouch of a team but that back line is shaky at best, and speed is not friendly for them, which is what this PSG team do best, they strike quick and often. Angel Di Maria ($16/$9300) is underpriced on FD and we’ve seen how he can take over a game (59.2 fan pts. vs Leipzig last year), but consistency is not there. Ander Herrera ($8 FD) revenge game anyone? No? Yeah me neither, but Rafinha ($5/$5200) seems wayyy too cheap on FD. Defensively Mitchel Bakker ($7/$3400) is a cheap exposure piece, especially for a full back. I don’t love Keylor Navas ($11/$5600) as United could easily score 1 or 2 without peppering him a ton.
Anthony Martial ($18/$5500) is back for the side after serving his domestic suspension and is a nice GPP shot for DK. Marcus Rashford ($18/$6200) is a similar play for me, but has a better goal scoring chance being the center forward. Bruno Fernandes ($17/$9400) has been named the captain for this game and he will want to put his stamp on the match for sure, I think he’s a little pricey on DK but a really nice value on FD for someone who has PK duty and set pieces. Defensively United are in SHAMBLES. Harry Maguire out, Eric Bailly out… their centerbacks are going to be Victor Lindelof ($8) and possibly Axel Tuanzebe ($5)… yikes. Means I have little real interest in either goalie for United, whether it is Dean Henderson ($9/$3800) or David De Gea ($9/$3900).
Prediction: Paris Saint Germain 4 – Manchester United 1
Red Bull Leipzig vs. Istanbul Basaksehir-
Istanbul is second to last in the Super Lig so far this season 1/1/3 with 2 goals scored and 6 against… which is… not good. And now they run into Leipzig who can score with the best of them and is first in the Bundesliga with a 3/1/0 record, 10 goals for, 2 against.
They are coming in hot and look really good but haven’t really played any stiff competition yet this campaign. Yussuf Poulsen ($19/$6100) should lead the line and has 2 goals so far this Bundesliga season. Marcel Sabitizer and Konrad Laimer are out, so the midfield will need a boost from Dani Olmo ($16/$7300) and Emil Forsberg ($18/$7300). Even Tyler Adams ($10/$3000) and Kevin Kampl ($11/$5100) are in play since they should control the tempo and be on the offensive foot the whole game. Defensively Angelino ($15/$5900) is the man you want, but he’s pricey, the others aren’t very interesting for DFS purposes. Peter Gulasci ($13/$5800) is probably the second surest clean sheet/win behind Neto this game week.
They’ve lost a lot of games to pretty bad teams of late but still have some veteran names that won’t be frightened of the big stage. Demba Ba ($16/$6400) is the man up front for them Deniz Turuc ($5/$6100) is the only midfield playmaker I like for them. Martin Skrtel ($13 FD) is somehow still playing and is a decent option on FD as they will be under attack all game. Don’t play anyone at defense on DK. Fehmi Gunok ($7/$3700) is deep GPP only as he should see high quality shots all game and probably gives up the booty a lot.
Prediction: RB Leipzig 5 – Istanbul 0
I hope you enjoyed this breakdown and will join us on the DFSKarma discord channel when lineups release around 2pm EST!